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Introducing Virtual Rewards!

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2 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

It would be easy enough to create on by searching for Virtual caches and sorting by placed date.  I just did that and there are quite a few.  It would be easier if the Search Form had a date range selector like on the PQ search criteria page.  Because the results aren't paged anymore but more results appended as one scrolls down the page, it's difficult to select the first "n" caches on the list.  

I also noticed something odd.  There are a couple of virtual caches with a placed date in 2008 and one in 2010.   How did that happen?

I saw one last time I was looking with a placed date of December, 2016!  Turns out, it's apparently a Christmas light cache of some sort? GS let's the CO activate and disable it every December and January, respectively. Needless to say, I was very confused by the 12/2016 placed date. 

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2 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

I also noticed something odd.  There are a couple of virtual caches with a placed date in 2008 and one in 2010.   How did that happen?

I noticed one of those too, and looking back in the logs there was a point where the virtual had undergone significant change due to construction or whatnot, so the owner reworked it and updated the placed date, invited previous finders to revisit and re-log.

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1 hour ago, mvhayes1982 said:

I saw one last time I was looking with a placed date of December, 2016!  Turns out, it's apparently a Christmas light cache of some sort? GS let's the CO activate and disable it every December and January, respectively. Needless to say, I was very confused by the 12/2016 placed date. 

Where is this one at?

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10 hours ago, Ambrosia said:

Well, so far, there are four virts within 200 miles of me. All of them could be a physical cache. They look like nice virts, but it doesn't really seem to be the way a virtual should be, to me.

I think that I know where I'm going to put my virt. It's at a place that is more sensitive, where I had a cache that I had to archive twelve years ago. I even thought about making it a virt at the time, but it was just before they were grandfathered and I didn't think it would go through. It's an interesting historical place that just can't support a physical cache. I just need to decide if having higher traffic from the novelty of a virt will work for that spot. :sunsure:

 

Thank you for considering a place that wouldn't support a physical cache.  Did the info you received as a Reward recipient include any tips about such placement considerations?

ETA:  I'm sure that some reward recipients might not be familiar with Virts and therefore wouldn't consider the 'where a physical cache isn't allowed' aspect of the Virt cache type, so it probably would've been good for GS to include such tips with the reward info.

 

Edited by noncentric
ETA

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12 minutes ago, noncentric said:

Did the info you received as a Reward recipient include any tips about such placement considerations?

 

Yes.

These are the pertinent guidelines about placement:

 

Permission

Virtual Caches must be placed in locations where geocachers are allowed to enter. In some sensitive areas the reviewer can ask for permission to ensure the land manager is aware of the Virtual Cache.

Proximity

Virtual Caches have no proximity restrictions. If the cache owner wants to avoid placing a Virtual Cache with similar content, they can ask their reviewer to check for nearby unpublished caches with similar content.

Vacation Virtuals

The cache owner must have visited the location and any additional waypoints in the previous two months before submitting the Virtual Cache for publication. Placements near the cache owner’s home coordinates are encouraged.

 

Virtual Rewards

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44 minutes ago, RuideAlmeida said:

Yes.

These are the pertinent guidelines about placement:

Thanks. I know there are guidelines. My question was more about whether there were 'tips' about what would make a 'good' Virtual. The links you provided didn't really address that, so that's why I was wondering whether the reward recipients received some 'tips'/'advice' about what types of locations would be good uses of their reward.

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33 minutes ago, noncentric said:

... I was wondering whether the reward recipients received some 'tips'/'advice' about what types of locations would be good uses of their reward.

 

It looks enough for me. :)

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2 hours ago, noncentric said:

Thank you for considering a place that wouldn't support a physical cache.  Did the info you received as a Reward recipient include any tips about such placement considerations?

ETA:  I'm sure that some reward recipients might not be familiar with Virts and therefore wouldn't consider the 'where a physical cache isn't allowed' aspect of the Virt cache type, so it probably would've been good for GS to include such tips with the reward info.

 

There wasn't anything specific about where or how to hide a virtual. The info points you to the virtual cache guidelines.

The blog did contain this comment: "The Virtual Cache type was originally created so people could place hides where physical caches were not permitted, or where muggles were so heavy that a physical cache was not practical."

It looks to me like there isn't as much of this emphasis with the virtual rewards? During the WOW factor, they asked that the virt didn't just take you to a view or something like that, it needed to be something solid (like a sign? I don't know - I had one denied because it was "just" a view - there were geological signs nearby but I didn't want to fight it). It should be where a physical cache couldn't be. I can't remember other criteria. 

It doesn't seem like the virtual rewards have those kinds of constraints. So I'm probably being old fashioned, stuck in the past to want the virts to be where you can't have a physical cache. But, it makes sense to me. Why would I put a virt there if a physical would work? I don't understand the point? :unsure:

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1 hour ago, Ambrosia said:

There wasn't anything specific about where or how to hide a virtual. The info points you to the virtual cache guidelines.

The blog did contain this comment: "The Virtual Cache type was originally created so people could place hides where physical caches were not permitted, or where muggles were so heavy that a physical cache was not practical."

It looks to me like there isn't as much of this emphasis with the virtual rewards? During the WOW factor, they asked that the virt didn't just take you to a view or something like that, it needed to be something solid (like a sign? I don't know - I had one denied because it was "just" a view - there were geological signs nearby but I didn't want to fight it). It should be where a physical cache couldn't be. I can't remember other criteria. 

It doesn't seem like the virtual rewards have those kinds of constraints. So I'm probably being old fashioned, stuck in the past to want the virts to be where you can't have a physical cache. But, it makes sense to me. Why would I put a virt there if a physical would work? I don't understand the point? :unsure:

Thanks for the info. I guess I'm 'old fashioned' too. I'd prefer to see Virtuals placed in areas where physical caches wouldn't work, but I've seen some published in places where physical caches could go and/or where there are already physical caches nearby. In some of those cases, the Virtual does highlight something interesting, but those somethings could be incorporated into a multi-cache with a final hidden nearby. In the instances I noticed, the CO's started years after 2005, so maybe they weren't familiar with the 'wow' factor or the idea of having Virtuals be in places where physical caches wouldn't work.

I just thought it would be helpful if the reward announcements, whatever communication the reward recipients received, included some 'tips' of what makes a 'good' VIrtual cache, since some recipients haven't placed any before and might not know. I wasn't suggesting that there be additional constraints or guidelines.

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3 hours ago, Gill & Tony said:

If it is the one I know of, it is in Melbourne.   

Thanks. Melbourne is certainly a place I plan to visit some day. 

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After contacting HQ about the virtual rewards and a little back-and-forth, I was given a response that I had info that I have not seen mentioned publicly. It stated,

Quote

"We have never done anything like this before. If it is successful and we consider a similar project for the future, we will change the algorithm and offer a new set of cache hiders an opportunity."

Now if this was to get me to stop contacting (I didn't, but they have not replied back since last Friday) or appease me, I don't know. Anyone else been told this?

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2 minutes ago, IslesPunkFan said:

After contacting HQ about the virtual rewards and a little back-and-forth, I was given a response that I had info that I have not seen mentioned publicly. It stated,

Now if this was to get me to stop contacting (I didn't, but they have not replied back since last Friday) or appease me, I don't know. Anyone else been told this?

What exactly are you trying to get out of your contact with HQ?  Is anything really going to "appease" you?

Pestering them about the 4000 Virtual Rewards that were released is not going to change anything. Although, maybe all the complaints will convince them never to do something like this again. For those that wanted to be included in the initial 4000, but didn't make the cut because 4000 is certainly going to leave out a lot of qualified cachers, then convincing them never to do this again will guarantee that no one else ever gets the reward because they won't give them out again.

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3 minutes ago, noncentric said:

What exactly are you trying to get out of your contact with HQ?  Is anything really going to "appease" you?

Pestering them about the 4000 Virtual Rewards that were released is not going to change anything. Although, maybe all the complaints will convince them never to do something like this again. For those that wanted to be included in the initial 4000, but didn't make the cut because 4000 is certainly going to leave out a lot of qualified cachers, then convincing them never to do this again will guarantee that no one else ever gets the reward because they won't give them out again.

There are quite a few in our area that is not please with the was HQ handled the rewards. The algorithm was flawed, cachers that did not deserve got one, others that fit their criteria did not, it created a class structure, it encourages begging/harassing for FPS...

To ignore the negatives is a poor way to do things. Things get better when negatives are corrected and then built upon.

Also, this was the first time that doing it again was ever mentioned. They had previously stated that they had no plans to go beyond this release.

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1 minute ago, IslesPunkFan said:

There are quite a few in our area that is not please with the was HQ handled the rewards. The algorithm was flawed, cachers that did not deserve got one, others that fit their criteria did not, it created a class structure, it encourages begging/harassing for FPS...

There are quite a few in several areas that are not pleased, but what do you expect to happen?  Do you want HQ to 'take back' the rewards given to cachers that you think are 'unworthy'?

The announcement stated "No algorithm is perfect, ours included. We favored quality over quantity, but in creating our algorithm, we are sure that some great hiders were missed."  The 'class structure' is not being created by these Virtual Rewards. It's being created by those cachers that feel their criteria and opinions are the only correct ones.  On another site, I saw someone question why a specific cacher was given a reward. They did not think that the cacher 'deserved' it. It turns out that that reward recipient was an active 'community volunteer' (translator, reviewer, moderator).

 

1 minute ago, IslesPunkFan said:

To ignore the negatives is a poor way to do things. Things get better when negatives are corrected and then built upon.

Also, this was the first time that doing it again was ever mentioned. They had previously stated that they had no plans to go beyond this release.

The initial announcement said that they didn't have any plans to do it again. Their response to you isn't different. They still don't have any plans to do it again.

They didn't tell you that they will do it again. They told you that IF it is successful and IF they consider doing it, then they will change the algorithm and different cachers will receive the reward. So, if they do it again, then the algorithm will be changed. If you think the algorithm they used for the current 4k was wrong, then wouldn't you be pleased to hear that they won't use the same algorithm again?

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4 minutes ago, noncentric said:

There are quite a few in several areas that are not pleased, but what do you expect to happen?  Do you want HQ to 'take back' the rewards given to cachers that you think are 'unworthy'?

The announcement stated "No algorithm is perfect, ours included. We favored quality over quantity, but in creating our algorithm, we are sure that some great hiders were missed."  The 'class structure' is not being created by these Virtual Rewards. It's being created by those cachers that feel their criteria and opinions are the only correct ones.  On another site, I saw someone question why a specific cacher was given a reward. They did not think that the cacher 'deserved' it. It turns out that that reward recipient was an active 'community volunteer' (translator, reviewer, moderator).

 

The initial announcement said that they didn't have any plans to do it again. Their response to you isn't different. They still don't have any plans to do it again.

They didn't tell you that they will do it again. They told you that IF it is successful and IF they consider doing it, then they will change the algorithm and different cachers will receive the reward. So, if they do it again, then the algorithm will be changed. If you think the algorithm they used for the current 4k was wrong, then wouldn't you be pleased to hear that they won't use the same algorithm again?

Why make it personal and think I am asking just for myself? I am not telling all on the board and I was not talking about a CV.

The fact that the algorithm is such a secret, how do we know it won't be used again. If they knew it was there was going to be problems, then why not change it to begin with?

I asked originally if anyone else got that response. I gather from you questioning me, the answer is no.

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1 hour ago, noncentric said:

On another site, I saw someone question why a specific cacher was given a reward. They did not think that the cacher 'deserved' it. It turns out that that reward recipient was an active 'community volunteer' (translator, reviewer, moderator).

Do volunteer reviewers ever recuse themselves from reviewing cache listing submitted by specific cache owners? Because some people might find it difficult to review someone's cache listings fairly after an incident like that.

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1 hour ago, IslesPunkFan said:

Why make it personal and think I am asking just for myself? I am not telling all on the board and I was not talking about a CV.

Sorry, but it did sound like you were personally not satisfied with the response that you personally received. That is why I'm questioning what it would take for you to be satisfied.  I guess I should've said "what would it take for the 'quite a few' in your area" to be satisfied. I'm asking as a serious question. Is there really anything that can be done to satisfy the cachers that are not happy with the 4k Virtual Rewards that were given. I think it's important to think about that question before throwing out criticisms.

 

1 hour ago, IslesPunkFan said:

The fact that the algorithm is such a secret, how do we know it won't be used again. If they knew it was there was going to be problems, then why not change it to begin with?

Maybe they didn't "know" that there would be problems. I'm sure that they now know, after all the comments that have been posted in various online platforms. Now that they know, then they can act on that feedback. They didn't have that feedback before.

 

1 hour ago, IslesPunkFan said:

I asked originally if anyone else got that response. I gather from you questioning me, the answer is no.

Maybe someone else got the same response. I don't know. I didn't get that response because I didn't contact HQ to ask them about the Virtual Reward. I also haven't yet listened to the Podcast about the virtual reward, so not sure if there was anything mentioned there that would be of interest.

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1 hour ago, IslesPunkFan said:

If they knew it was there was going to be problems, then why not change it to begin with?

No algorithm is ever going to be perfect. For a start, any criteria for "quality" hides is going to be subjective - someone who loves power trails is going to have a very different view to someone who loves remote mountaintop hides. The best they can hope is to strike a happy medium. Then, the algorithm has to be able to implement those criteria based only on what's in their database - membership tenure, number of finds, number of hides, favourite points, NM/NA history, etc. Inevitably there'll be anomolies - someone who ticks all the algorithm's boxes might still have hidden some lousy caches or vice versa. Then there are time constraints and possibly bugs in the algorithm that weren't detected during testing.

For me, I'll wait to see what eventuates over the next twelve months before making any judgement calls. A lousy hider can still produce a great virtual, or a great hider can still produce a lemon, so who knows? Finding out will be part of the fun, I'm sure.

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2 hours ago, IslesPunkFan said:

After contacting HQ about the virtual rewards and a little back-and-forth, I was given a response that I had info that I have not seen mentioned publicly. It stated,

Now if this was to get me to stop contacting (I didn't, but they have not replied back since last Friday) or appease me, I don't know. Anyone else been told this?

Right off, your post congers up an image of "the squeaky wheel gets the oil" type of tactic.  I don't know if it crossed your mind, but HQ might be busy?

At any rate, I think the better course is to "game the system" with gusto.  Put out stellar caches that are well  maintained, garner bucket loads of FP's, and make people want to write whole chapters about their visit to your cache and how it changed their life.

BTW, just must my personal opinion, without any knowledge of how people were chosen, but I think focusing on FP's is a big mistake.  I think the winners in this round (and I'm not assuming there will be a second), seemed to have a broad portfolio of caches.   Those with fewer hides seemed to have cache lifetimes measured in years, if not a decade.  If you're in this for the short haul, and don't have that sort of stamina, you might be disappointed.

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6 minutes ago, noncentric said:

Sorry, but it did sound like you were personally not satisfied with the response that you personally received. That is why I'm questioning what it would take for you to be satisfied.  I guess I should've said "what would it take for the 'quite a few' in your area" to be satisfied. I'm asking as a serious question. Is there really anything that can be done to satisfy the cachers that are not happy with the 4k Virtual Rewards that were given. I think it's important to think about that question before throwing out criticisms.

 

Maybe they didn't "know" that there would be problems. I'm sure that they now know, after all the comments that have been posted in various online platforms. Now that they know, then they can act on that feedback. They didn't have that feedback before.

 

Maybe someone else got the same response. I don't know. I didn't get that response because I didn't contact HQ to ask them about the Virtual Reward. I also haven't yet listened to the Podcast about the virtual reward, so not sure if there was anything mentioned there that would be of interest.

Am I personally not satisfied? Yes, but that was due to them just giving me prepared responses without answering any of my questions posed to them. I would have loved one. I am expressing frustration from within our community by the way it was dealt with. It rewarded someone that manipulates stats and begs for FPs. Personally, I think another round, this time giving them out due to merit would be nice.

They are the ones that brought up a flawed algorithm to begin with. Probably would have been best for them to just say who they felt deserved it and that was it.

 

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13 minutes ago, IslesPunkFan said:

It rewarded someone that manipulates stats and begs for FPs.

There have been several comments, here and elsewhere, stating that FP's were involved in the decision. Where did GS state that FP's played a factor in how the Virtual Reward recipients were selected?  Did they mention it in the podcast?

They did state that the Health Score played a factor, and that score apparently doesn't involve FP's.

 

13 minutes ago, IslesPunkFan said:

Personally, I think another round, this time giving them out due to merit would be nice.

Well, GS thought that the first round was based on 'merit' as well, so not sure that another round will be entirely successful either. I'm pretty sure that there's no way for GS to win. However they do it, there are going to be complaints. It's an unfortunate reality.

 

48 minutes ago, niraD said:

Do volunteer reviewers ever recuse themselves from reviewing cache listing submitted by specific cache owners? Because some people might find it difficult to review someone's cache listings fairly after an incident like that.

I guess that is where people using their non-caching name on other sites could be helpful.

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Around here no Virtual Reward has popped up yet, but looking at the data of so far known Virtual Reward yes/no candidates it seems very likely to me that

(Short version)

Aside from the geocachers that complain because they have SO MANY caches and don't get a reward or they have caches with SO MANY favorite points overlooking that only every fifteenth geocacher gave a favorite point or other whatever reasons you can point out that the quality aspect is given favor

does Groundspeak really think you are a better hider if your three geocaches are top than a hider that has 50 absolute top hides and also has 50 other geocaches that are clearly above average? Discouraging such dedicated long time hiders by telling them (not really, but implicit) 'less is more, you'd better have archived 10 of the geocaches that only have 20% to get the reward' seems, well, quite unrewarding for the overall game.

(Full version)

Assuming all other conditions (for example that you proved you are a longer committed player that takes care of your geocaches, you own a certain number of caches etc.) are met likewise by the candidates

one quality part of the algorithm (I clearly don't say it it made this way, because there are many thinkable ways  to get the same result in the in end) results in

yes for a Virtual if your overall favorite point ratio is at least one third (edit to add: roughly estimated empirically for my country, for other countries there might be another cut-off). That seems fine at first glance, because it massively favors quality over quantity. 

Let's look closer.

The highest number of active owned geocaches known to to me up to now for a reward winner in my sample is a little below 50 geocaches. That player has a overall favorite point percentage above 50%. Clearly an abolute Top 1% Hider.

Most winners tend to own a moderate number of geocaches. Fine. Around here you could get a Reward even for three active geocaches and 36% Fav. That's still also fine.

But some are wondering how can it be that other perceived Top 1 % Hiders that own 50+ top geocaches are left out. Why are they left out? Maybe a by-effect from a consideration how to rank quality over quantity?

Powertrails lead to a high number of favorite points on certain geocaches of the trail, usually people give one for every ten geocaches. If GS doesn't want to reward a geocacher that has 500 geocaches in a few series and for the 50 'bonus' geocaches a favorite point percentage of 60% and therefore try to exclude them by the algorithm - very fine.

Looking at the data it would seem that that requiring an overall favorite point percentage of 20% (also out of other considerations) is far enough to weed out the 'numbers only' and proceed with the rest, maybe a lower threshold would be enough.

Already before but definitely after such a step you would think owning (fictive example) the best 50 geocaches of a country automatically makes you a winner.

Why isn't that the case?

Because (again fictive example) your 50 best geocaches have an overall favorite point percentage of 45%. If that were all of your hides, you are a winner, BUT you also contributed to the game with another 50 geocaches that could accumulate an overall favorite point percentage of 20%, which is also solid quality. That is minimally too low for the overall threshold and another geocacher that might contribute to the game with 3 or 10 geocaches is prioritized.

Again, I'm not saying that the decision is made (among other aspects) by this criterion for quality, I absolutely don't know how it is done, a lot of ways may lead to the same results, but until now all of the few candidates I know for yes (maybe 15% of the predicted number of my country) fit into that pattern.

Aside from the geocachers that complain because they have SO MANY caches and don't get a reward or they have caches with SO MANY favorite points overlooking that only every fifteenth geocacher gave a favorite point or other whatever reasons you can point out that the quality aspect is given favor

does Groundspeak really think you are a better hider if your three geocaches are top than a hider that has 50 absolute top hides and also has 50 other geocaches that are clearly above average? Discouraging such dedicated long time hiders by telling them (not really, but implicit) 'less is more, you'd better have archived 10 of the geocaches that only have 20% to get the reward' seems, well, quite unrewarding for the overall game.

 

Edited by AnnaMoritz

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7 hours ago, IslesPunkFan said:

After contacting HQ about the virtual rewards and a little back-and-forth, I was given a response that I had info that I have not seen mentioned publicly. It stated,

Quote

"We have never done anything like this before. If it is successful and we consider a similar project for the future, we will change the algorithm and offer a new set of cache hiders an opportunity."

Now if this was to get me to stop contacting (I didn't, but they have not replied back since last Friday) or appease me, I don't know. Anyone else been told this?

Yes anyone who listened to the podcast where they said pretty much that, you haven't uncovered some secret agenda here. They didn't use those precise words (nobody's reading from a script), but they said that IF they decide to do it again it will be slightly different.

4 hours ago, IslesPunkFan said:

Personally, I think another round, this time giving them out due to merit would be nice.

What you seem to be saying is another round based on YOUR criteria would be nice, then you'd be happy. But I can guarantee that whatever criteria you think is fair somebody will think it unfair. And that's the nub of the problem, whatever criteria they chose to use SOMEBODY is guaranteed to complain about it.

 

Lets give GS some credit here, they've responded to repeated requests to re-introduce Virtuals in a way that has a chance to address some of the issues that caused them to be grandfathered in the first place. The algorithm isn't perfect and they accept that, and realistically it never can be. If the whole process is well received then they might do something similar again, and I think we should have faith in them to adapt the process/algorithm to try and address some of the problems that have come to light in this phase. Perhaps the first tweak to the algorithm would be that anyone awarded a Virtual this time is automatically excluded next time, and so it will be the next 4000, which may well include all those who are so miffed about not getting one.

 

 

 

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I haven't read this whole thread, it may have come up before but updating my database I saw some caches (series) that are on my "to do" list are now "temporary disabled". Since I was curious why the whole series was TD I looked at the logs and found a long explanation by the CO for disabling.

The bottom line is:

Quote

Groundspeak did NOT have to draw a line somewhere!
When 4000 new virtual caches are to be created it would have been way better to ask the whole geocaching community for ideas and give every cacher the opportunity to create a listing.
And let the reviewers select only the best ones to be published.

That would give some high quality virtuals. For sure better then the top one percent of a vague algorithm would create. This top one percent was rewarded for creating nice containers.... Exactly the opposite of a virtual.
No algorithm is perfect. And certainly not this one.
If no algorithm is perfect.... no algorithm should be used.

By just giving a few people with a few nice traditionals the option is in the opinion of a large group of cachers not smart.
But the worst thing that HQ did this way was dividing the community in several groups.

We feel sad that a division in groups has been created which nobody wanted.
We would like to see that everybody gets the chance to at least tell about their plans for a virtual.
All geocachers should have equal chances.
And let the best ones be published.

We are hoping HQ will clarify what makes up for a top 1 percent hider. Because we do not understand it.

On behalf of a large group of geocachers who are responsible for thousands of geocaches this cache is therefore temporarily disabled.

Perhaps more caches will follow..

I don't think that this was the purpose of these new virtuals.

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5 minutes ago, on4bam said:

I haven't read this whole thread, it may have come up before but updating my database I saw some caches (series) that are on my "to do" list are now "temporary disabled". Since I was curious why the whole series was TD I looked at the logs and found a long explanation by the CO for disabling.

The bottom line is:

Groundspeak did NOT have to draw a line somewhere!
When 4000 new virtual caches are to be created it would have been way better to ask the whole geocaching community for ideas and give every cacher the opportunity to create a listing.
And let the reviewers select only the best ones to be published.

That would give some high quality virtuals. For sure better then the top one percent of a vague algorithm would create. This top one percent was rewarded for creating nice containers.... Exactly the opposite of a virtual.
No algorithm is perfect. And certainly not this one.
If no algorithm is perfect.... no algorithm should be used.

By just giving a few people with a few nice traditionals the option is in the opinion of a large group of cachers not smart.
But the worst thing that HQ did this way was dividing the community in several groups.

We feel sad that a division in groups has been created which nobody wanted.
We would like to see that everybody gets the chance to at least tell about their plans for a virtual.
All geocachers should have equal chances.
And let the best ones be published.

We are hoping HQ will clarify what makes up for a top 1 percent hider. Because we do not understand it.

On behalf of a large group of geocachers who are responsible for thousands of geocaches this cache is therefore temporarily disabled.

Perhaps more caches will follow..

I don't think that this was the purpose of these new virtuals.

Yeah, I gotta say...let them take their toys and go home. In my honest opinion, this kind of stuff is childish. Even more of an embarrassment as they seem to be encouraging others to follow in their footsteps.

Edited by Uncle Alaska
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2 minutes ago, Uncle Alaska said:

Yeah, I gotta say...let them take their toys and go home. In my honest opinion, this kind of stuff is childish.

Point is that some very good caches are now TD affecting the cachers who enjoy "something more" than LPCs. Something similar happened when new rules went into effect regarding caches in nature reserves. Some disabled their (highly rated) caches and some even archived later.

 

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8 minutes ago, on4bam said:

I haven't read this whole thread, it may have come up before but updating my database I saw some caches (series) that are on my "to do" list are now "temporary disabled". Since I was curious why the whole series was TD I looked at the logs and found a long explanation by the CO for disabling.

The bottom line is:

I don't think that this was the purpose of these new virtuals.

Yes - the Blog announcement has several comments about caches being disabled with that message.  Commenters in the Blog post mentioned the Netherlands and Portugal and it sounds like CO's in other countries might join them in disabling their caches as a type of 'protest' or 'boycott'.  Their behavior certainly doesn't seem like a contribution to the geocaching community. If they decide to archive their caches, then I hope they are responsible enough to go pick up their containers.

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2 minutes ago, on4bam said:
9 minutes ago, Uncle Alaska said:

Yeah, I gotta say...let them take their toys and go home. In my honest opinion, this kind of stuff is childish.

Point is that some very good caches are now TD affecting the cachers who enjoy "something more" than LPCs. Something similar happened when new rules went into effect regarding caches in nature reserves. Some disabled their (highly rated) caches and some even archived later.

It wasn't clear to me whether the caches have actually been removed?   If a cache is disabled, or even archived, but a cacher goes to find it and signs the log - then that's still a valid find. The problem will be for cachers that exclude disabled caches from the downloads and/or PQ's though.

I don't see this as a fault of GS, but rather as poor behavior by the CO's that are punishing other cachers for something that those other cachers were not involved in.

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It seems to me that cache owners who are prone to getting their knickers in a twist and committing geocide are clearly NOT the kind of cache owners that Groundspeak would want to entrust with one of these new virtual caches. These virtual caches are still grandfathered, and once archived, they're gone and the community has lost them. Ideally, they would go to more stable cache owners.

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7 minutes ago, on4bam said:

Point is that some very good caches are now TD affecting the cachers who enjoy "something more" than LPCs. Something similar happened when new rules went into effect regarding caches in nature reserves. Some disabled their (highly rated) caches and some even archived later.

 

Well, they should go ahead and archive them and walk away. Makes room for other cachers to place new and exciting caches. Plenty of people in the community that can see beyond their own egos.

Edited by Uncle Alaska
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8 minutes ago, Uncle Alaska said:

Well, they should go ahead and archive them and walk away. Makes room for other cachers to place new and exciting caches. Plenty of people in the community that can see beyond their own egos.

Point is (at least for the series that I noticed was TD) it IS a great CO with great caches (we've done others by him/her). So should they archive, best case scenario is that someone else puts out great caches or, and more likely, a bunch of micro's will be dropped behind a few trees.

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1 hour ago, Uncle Alaska said:
1 hour ago, on4bam said:

Point is that some very good caches are now TD affecting the cachers who enjoy "something more" than LPCs. Something similar happened when new rules went into effect regarding caches in nature reserves. Some disabled their (highly rated) caches and some even archived later.

 

Well, they should go ahead and archive them and walk away. Makes room for other cachers to place new and exciting caches.

Or new and dull / boring / unrewarding caches - just for balance ;)

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1 hour ago, on4bam said:

I haven't read this whole thread, it may have come up before but updating my database I saw some caches (series) that are on my "to do" list are now "temporary disabled". Since I was curious why the whole series was TD I looked at the logs and found a long explanation by the CO for disabling.

The bottom line is:

I don't think that this was the purpose of these new virtuals.

Of course this wasn't the purpose of these new virtuals. But as always different people react different towards any change or activity. If someone is upset about a certain decision from Groundspeak and decide to disable caches to get want they want (whether it is information on the "algorithm" or getting a virtual reward) that's their choice. To me it seems childish, but some people consider geocaching to be more than just a game and therefore act differently depending on how much they attach certain values to the different aspects of the game.

It's a pity some people get upset because of the way the virtual award action is communicated. Of course the statement that the chosen ones are the top 1% of cache owners is a statement that shouldn't have been made, especially without an explanation how this is calculated. With all the statistics already available through sites like Project-GC (even actively promoted by Groundspeak due to the challenge checker obligation), it can not come as a surpise that cachers will use these sites to dertermine how they are perceived as cache owners, for instance with the Hide Stats on Project-GC. Now suddenly these Hide Stats seem to mean nothing, because (some of )the cache owners in top of these lists are not part of the chosen ones. These cache owners seek an explanation with other cachers and get answers like "we don't understand either, you should have gotten one", or "if that CO with these two caches is in the top 1% certainly you and I should have been there also". Their initinial response "this algorithm can't be right" only gets confirmation by other (well respected) cache owners. The whole discussion leads to more frustration and for some apparantly in disabling or archiving their caches because they don't feel heard or respected by Groundspeak.

For a lot of cachers it doesn't matter, they don't care for all kinds of reasons: we're used to bad communication with new actions, we don't want to make a virtual anyway, we're already happen there will be virtuals so we can log some etc. etc. But for those who got suck into the discussion and feel like they spend an enormous amount of time and effort to make other people happy by making caches, of course this "we don't care"-attitude doesn't help with dealing with their emotions, it only makes it worse.

For most people it is a lot more easy to deal with facts even if they are not to their advantage than with unclear messages that stimulate all kinds of interpretations of possible facts. An example: if all cachers who have a geocaching account for over 5 years get a free trackable, the message is clear. Of course there will be some cachers complaining that they had an account but had to start a new one for some reason, some will be pissed because they started 4,9 years ago etc. etc. But the way the decision is made would be clear and only the action itself might lead to discussions, not the way it is communicated. If this example would have been communicated as "all cachers who have been geocaching for over 5 years get a free trackable", you get a lot of discussion on the unclarity, what does it mean "have been geocaching", how is this determined? Peope will get mad for not having received a free trackable even when they can prove somehow they have been geocaching for over 5 years.

 

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I don't think the arguments made in the 'protest' log are well thought out.

The cacher says it would've been better to let every cacher submit a Virtual cache and then let the Reviewers decide which ones are 'best' to be published. -- That was a huge issue that caused Virtuals to be banned in the first place. Why should the reviewers have to make those judgment calls? Did the 'protesters' ask reviewers whether that's something the reviewers would want? I'm pretty sure they didn't.

 

From my cursory look, I see two cachers that have disabled some of their caches. One of those cachers still has 96 enabled caches, while the other has 175 still enabled. Both of these cachers opened their accounts several years after the Virtual ban was implemented in 2005, so maybe that's why they don't understand the problems with the proposal that Volunteer Reviewers be forced into the tough position of judging Virtual cache submissions.

 

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4 minutes ago, irisisleuk said:

For most people it is a lot more easy to deal with facts even if they are not to their advantage than with unclear messages that stimulate all kinds of interpretations of possible facts. An example: if all cachers who have a geocaching account for over 5 years get a free trackable, the message is clear. Of course there will be some cachers complaining that they had an account but had to start a new one for some reason, some will be pissed because they started 4,9 years ago etc. etc. But the way the decision is made would be clear and only the action itself might lead to discussions, not the way it is communicated. If this example would have been communicated as "all cachers who have been geocaching for over 5 years get a free trackable", you get a lot of discussion on the unclarity, what does it mean "have been geocaching", how is this determined? Peope will get mad for not having received a free trackable even when they can prove somehow they have been geocaching for over 5 years.

Exactly. Suppose "CO's with an average xx%" of favorites and maintenance intervention within xx days" would be the criteria everyone can do the math. Having "an algorithm but we're not telling how it works" can only lead to problems. OTOH, clear communication and GS has never been a good combination. :ph34r:

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5 minutes ago, noncentric said:

From my cursory look, I see two cachers that have disabled some of their caches. One of those cachers still has 96 enabled caches, while the other has 175 still enabled.

 

 

As far as I can tell, this poster archived five - all of which had already been reported missing anyway.

 

On 24/08/2017 at 8:09 PM, The Magna Defender said:

I'd be interested to learn more details of the algorithm. Nine years in caching and hundreds of caches hidden, adopted and maintained, with a variety of different cache hides thrown in, each with large amounts of favourite points. If this isn't good enough, then I may as well just archive all my caches now. 

 

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You know what the best part of the 'protest' is? Yesterday I've received all those mails telling me a whole bunch of caches went on Temporary Disabled. Really none of those caches are interesting; caches that are around for many years and after all those years had just a few favourite points. Also the logs didn't show anything interesting about the caches. No special places to be visited, no beautiful area to find the cache in, nothing special about the container, just another cache 'because there wasn't one yet'.

So, in the end Groundspeak gets what they're looking for: More quality. I'm happy these CO's TD'd their caches, all they have to do now is archive them, so all those petlings can be removed and only real quality caches can be placed in those areas. But only if it's an area worth visiting.

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2 minutes ago, on4bam said:
11 minutes ago, irisisleuk said:

For most people it is a lot more easy to deal with facts even if they are not to their advantage than with unclear messages that stimulate all kinds of interpretations of possible facts. An example: if all cachers who have a geocaching account for over 5 years get a free trackable, the message is clear. Of course there will be some cachers complaining that they had an account but had to start a new one for some reason, some will be pissed because they started 4,9 years ago etc. etc. But the way the decision is made would be clear and only the action itself might lead to discussions, not the way it is communicated. If this example would have been communicated as "all cachers who have been geocaching for over 5 years get a free trackable", you get a lot of discussion on the unclarity, what does it mean "have been geocaching", how is this determined? Peope will get mad for not having received a free trackable even when they can prove somehow they have been geocaching for over 5 years.

Exactly. Suppose "CO's with an average xx%" of favorites and maintenance intervention within xx days" would be the criteria everyone can do the math. Having "an algorithm but we're not telling how it works" can only lead to problems. OTOH, clear communication and GS has never been a good combination. :ph34r:

Hypothetically, let's say that such a statement was made. Wouldn't that likely lead to CO's "begging/harassing for FPS" that was mentioned by another poster a few posts up? And wouldn't that also incentivize CO's to post false OM logs so they can get themselves into good favor with the algorithm? Then the next time, if there was a next time, that such a reward was released those CO's would expect to get rewarded because they manipulated their listings to fit the algorithm. But then maybe GS changes the algorithm because they see this manipulation happening. Then there would be a bunch of complaints that they changed the criteria or that the algorithm was changed to something that isn't as good at measuring 'quality' as the previous algorithm.

That's the problem with giving specifics about how an algorithm works. Explaining the methodology and criteria encourages manipulation. It's like the Health Score, which hasn't been explained completely but hasn't resulted in geocides because cachers didn't feel like they were 'missing' anything based on the Health Score of their caches.

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3 minutes ago, Mikos88 said:

so all those petlings can be removed and only real quality caches can be placed in those areas.

Or poor caches... or no caches at all - just for balance ;)

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45 minutes ago, Mikos88 said:

You know what the best part of the 'protest' is? Yesterday I've received all those mails telling me a whole bunch of caches went on Temporary Disabled. Really none of those caches are interesting;

Well, the ones where I noticed were on my "to do" list and we're picky about what we want to do. Using GcVote's terminology I'd say at least "better than average" with a mix of cachetypes. So it may be different where you live.

 

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1 hour ago, Mikos88 said:

You know what the best part of the 'protest' is? Yesterday I've received all those mails telling me a whole bunch of caches went on Temporary Disabled. Really none of those caches are interesting; caches that are around for many years and after all those years had just a few favourite points. Also the logs didn't show anything interesting about the caches. No special places to be visited, no beautiful area to find the cache in, nothing special about the container, just another cache 'because there wasn't one yet'.

So, in the end Groundspeak gets what they're looking for: More quality. I'm happy these CO's TD'd their caches, all they have to do now is archive them, so all those petlings can be removed and only real quality caches can be placed in those areas. But only if it's an area worth visiting.

It doesn't matter if the caches are good or not (by what standard/algorithm). What does matter is that cachers got upset, so upset that they disabled their caches although they put their heart and soul into the hobby. There was no need for making cachers that upset, if just the statement 1% was left out.

If they would just have said: we picked randomly  (which is an algorithm as well by the way) 4000 cache owners all over the world who we think might make a nice virtual cache, because we want to thank the whole community for putting so much effort in making and maintaining caches. Then nobody would have been upset, disappointed maybe, but not upset thinking they are not appreciated by Groundspeak although the known statistics show they are cache owners with caches which are appreciated by other cachers.

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Even then they would moan: "I wasn't picked, so I'm unhappy." Let's hope CO's start to invest in quality rather than quantity, so they'll have a chance in the future if this trial is repeated. And for those that don't care or don't want to invest, nothing changes.

30 minutes ago, on4bam said:

Well, the ones where I noticed were on my "to do" list and we're picky about what we want to do.

Sorry to hear, until now it doesn't affect me or my search for caches that are of good quality.

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26 minutes ago, irisisleuk said:

If they would just have said: we picked randomly  (which is an algorithm as well by the way) 4000 cache owners all over the world who we think might make a nice virtual cache, because we want to thank the whole community for putting so much effort in making and maintaining caches. Then nobody would have been upset, disappointed maybe, but not upset thinking they are not appreciated by Groundspeak although the known statistics show they are cache owners with caches which are appreciated by other cachers.

If they'd just handed them out randomly, I expect at least half wouldv'e gone to people no longer involved in the game.

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25 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

If they'd just handed them out randomly, I expect at least half wouldv'e gone to people no longer involved in the game.

You're missing the point I was trying to make. Saying you picked them randomly doesn't mean actually picking them randomly (as I said "who we think can make a nice virtual"), but would avoid misunderstandings based on (unknown) statistics.

But with respect to your answer: how can you be a current cache owner if you are not involved in the game? And what is the harm if someone can make a virtual but won't because he is not involved in the game? I'm sure not all 4000 awarded virtuals will actually become published, not everyone is interested in making and maintaining a virtual cache.

 

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2 minutes ago, irisisleuk said:

But with respect to your answer: how can you be a current cache owner if you are not involved in the game?

About half the caches appearing on the map around here are owned by people who are no longer involved. Their caches will linger on until they fall apart or vanish and eventually someone logs an NM and then an NA on them.

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3 minutes ago, irisisleuk said:
36 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

If they'd just handed them out randomly, I expect at least half wouldv'e gone to people no longer involved in the game.

You're missing the point I was trying to make. Saying you picked them randomly doesn't mean actually picking them randomly

If anyone is missing your point I can see why.

Perhaps saying what you mean and meaning what you say would work better?

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